SINGAPORE - They were assembled with the aim of delivering Singapore's first South-east Asia (SEA) Games football gold medal on home soil in 2015.
But the Courts Young Lions - effectively the national Under-21 team - have had a forgettable season which has seen them rooted to the bottom of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League table with a meagre two points from 15 matches.
From off-the-field issues that have seen them docked points, the team also had to play matches without their head coach Aide Iskandar, who was on national duty with the senior Lions last month.
If there were any concerns that the Young Lions appear to be low down on the priority list of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), coach Aide and the FAS were keen to play them down.
"The national team are the pinnacle of our football commitment, and we have to give that priority," said Aide, explaining the two occasions where he was away from his charges last month.
He travelled with the senior Lions to assist new national coach Bernd Stange in the friendlies against Myanmar (June 4) and Laos (June 7), and then was deployed as a scout, watching Jordan's game against Oman in Amman (June 18).
Singapore will face Oman in Group A of the Asian Cup qualifiers on Aug 14.
His overseas assignments saw Aide miss out on the S-League and StarHub League Cup matches the Young Lions played during that time.